Foot Soak

Here are ten types of foot soaks developed to address foot woes. Mix these soaks slowly, adding oils one drop at a time. If you are sensitive to aromas, you may want to alter the recipes and use fewer drops of essential oils.

You might also want to sample different oils at an herbal shop before you buy them to pick the aromas you think you will enjoy the most.

All of these soak recipes and the lotions and sprays in this chapter have been reviewed and approved by two certified aromatherapists, one of who is also an M.D.

Foot Soaks for your Feet

Tips:

  •  Place the basin on a thick towel to keep it warm and catch any spills. You can also cover your feet and the basin with another towel to trap the heat from the water (try to keep the top towel from touching the water).
  • If you add a few handfuls of marbles to your bath, make sure that the marbles are all smooth and don’t have any chips that could cut your feet. You can also add river rocks or small smooth pebbles, which can be found at nurseries, gardening shops, craft shops, and stores that sell fountains
  • Fill another basin with sand for a good presoak foot massage and exfoliate dry skin. Sitting or standing, you can massage your feet into the

1. Basic Soak

Here’s a basic soak recipe to get you started:

  1. Add warm water (not hot) to a basin or small tub until about two-thirds.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of either baking soda or salt to the Your measurements don’t have to be exact; pour 1 tbsp into your palm to see how much it holds, then you can add 1-3 palmfuls. Please don’t use too much salt because it can be dehydrating. (In any of the recipes in this chapter, feel free to substitute Epsom salt for mineral or Dead Sea salt; it’s much cheaper.)
  3. Add 3-5 drops of therapeutic-grade essential oil or 1-2 tbsp of herbs in a muslin tea. Stir the water gently to dis- perse oil and dissolve the salt.
  4. Soak for 15-20

2. De-stress Soaks

After a long day, you need to calm your nerves and relax your mind. These “after-work” soaks are simple to make, using ingredients you might have in your kitchen.

Simple soak: Add 2 tbsp baking soda or Epsom salt to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Lavender soak: Add 2 tbsp baking soda and five drops of lavender oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Zippy citrus soak: Add a few slices of lemon (or orange) and a few slices of fresh ginger to warm water. Squeeze the juice of a few slices into the water. Soak for 15-20 minutes. You can add 2 tbsp baking soda or salt to this soak. You can also substitute 3-5 drops of lemon oil for the slices.

3. Rejuvenating Soak

A reenergizing soak will get you back on your feet when you have time for a breather, but you need to keep going.

Simple soak: Soak your feet in a basin of cold water for 15-20 minutes. You can add one or two trays of ice to make it colder. You can also add 3-5 drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil.

Vitamin soaks: Crush 2,000 mg of vitamin C (or use powdered vitamin C) into warm or cold water. Add two drops of eucalyptus oil, two drops of lavender oil, and rosemary oil. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Peppy midday tea soak: Add 2 tbsp Dead Sea salt, and 1 tbsp dried peppermint in a muslin tea bag (or use 3-5 drops of peppermint oil) to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

4. Therapeutic Soak

This soak will cool down your feet and increase circulation, whether you have arthritis, gout, rheumatism, or stiff, inflamed, and sore joints from overuse. If your feet feel painful and hot, do a cold soak. If your feet are achy and tired, do a warm soak. (See page 141 for information on arthritis.)

Rosemary soak: Add 2 tbsp Dead Sea salt (or baking soda), 3-5 drops of rosemary oil, and two trays of ice to a basin of cold water. (For warm soak, add ingredients to a basin of warm water. Do not add ice.) Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Sore joints soak: Add two drops of eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, and one drop of lavender oil to a basin of cold water. Add two trays of ice cubes. (For warm soak, add ingredients to a basin of warm water. Do not add ice.) Soak for 15-20 minutes.

If you have cramps or stiffness in your feet, try these soothing soaks, which are also good for sweaty feet and for calming your nerves:

Stiff feet soak 1: Add three drops of cypress oil and three drops of lemon oil to a basin of warm water. You can also add 2 tbsp of Epsom salt. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Stiff feet soak 2: Add three drops of rosemary oil and three drops of lavender oil to a basin of warm water. You can also add 2 tbsp of Epsom salt. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Bunion soak: Add 2 tbsp Epsom salt, 2 tbsp olive (or safflower) oil, three drops of eucalyptus oil, one drop of sage oil, and one drop of rosemary oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

5. Bedtime Soaks

An hour before bedtime is a perfect time to do a foot soak that will help you relax and fall asleep.

Oatmeal soak:  Add  1/4-1/2   cup dried oats  (i.e.,  oatmeal,  but don’t use instant) to a basin of warm water. You can also add 3-5 drops of lavender oil or throw in a few chamomile tea bags (decaffeinated!). Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Sleepy soak: Add 2 tbsp dried lavender in a muslin tea bag and 2 tbsp Epsom salt to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes. (Although dried herbs take a few more minutes to use, they are perfect for bedtime teas since they’re less fragrant than oils. Strong scents can overstimulate people who are extremely sensitive to fragrance, so they should use dried herbs before bed.)

6. Relaxing Soak

When you want to unwind, unplug from the chaos, and feel a little pampered, try this soak:

Soothing soak: Add three drops of chamomile oil, two drops of lavender oil, and 2-3 tbsp Dead Sea salt to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

When PMS strikes and you feel depressed, irritable, bloated, and fatigued, put your feet up for a few minutes and rest. Then, take a soak:

PMS soak: Add 3 tbsp Dead Sea salt and 3-5 drops of geranium oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, give yourself a foot massage with lavender foot lotion (see page 53).

For those days when everyone is getting on your last nerve, lock yourself in your house and soak away.

Foot soak for cranks: Add 2 tbsp Epsom salt, two drops of peppermint oil, three drops of rosemary oil, and one drop of lavender oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

7. After-Workout Soaks

Your dogs are barkin’! You just hiked ten miles, and you need to bring some life back into your tired, overworked, swollen, smelly feet. If your feet are painful, bruised, or swollen, first soak in cold, icy water for 20 minutes. Wait 30-60 minutes, and then do one of these warm soaks:

Hikers soak: Add 2-3 tbsp Dead Sea salt (or Epsom salt), one drop of tea tree oil, two drops of lavender oil, and two drops of rosemary oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Runners soak: Add 2 tbsp Epsom salts and one pinch (1/8-1/4 tsp) of cayenne pepper to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Sore feet soak: Add 2 tbsp mineral or Dead Sea salt, two drops of lavender oil, and three drops of eucalyptus oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

8. “My Feet Are Killing Me” Soaks

When your feet are tired, aching, swollen, and you can’t go on . . .

Basic soak: Add 2 tbsp baking soda, three drops of cypress oil, and three drops of lavender oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Fancy soak: Add 2 tbsp Dead Sea salt, two drops of eucalyptus oil, two drops of peppermint oil, one drop of lavender oil, and one drop of rosemary oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

9. Stinky Feet Soaks

First, try a soak to combat sweaty feet. Then try the recipes for smelly feet. (See page 178 for information on smelly feet.)

Sweaty feet soak: Add three drops of cypress oil and two drops of sage oil (optional) to a basin of warm water. Squeeze several slices of lemon into the water, and add the slices (or add one drop of lemon oil). Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Odor-eater tea: Make a pint of tea using two tea bags. Boil for 15 minutes (with tea bags in the water). Add tea to 2 quarts of cool water, and soak in the cool solution for 30 minutes. Black tea contains tannic acid, which kills bacteria and closes pores, so soaking your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week can sometimes help keep your feet dryer during the day.

Pickled feet soak: You can also soak your feet in vinegar. Make a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water in your basin and soak for 20 minutes. Use room-temperature water; warm water can increase the vinegar fumes.

Tea tree soaks: Add 2 tbsp baking soda, three drops of tea tree oil, one drop of geranium oil, and two drops of lavender oil to a basin of warm water. Soak for 20 minutes.

10. Headache Soak

A warm herbal foot bath can help you relax and unwind, which is sometimes all you need to alleviate some headaches. Breathing deeply while you soak will also help calm your mind as you inhale the aromatic oil in the bath. Sometimes a calming oil works best, sometimes a stimulating oil works best, and sometimes it takes a combination of oils. Experiment and see which oils work for you.

Headache soak: Add 3-5 drops of one of the following oils to a basin of warm water: lavender (calming), peppermint (stimulating), eucalyptus (stimulating and great for congestion), or rosemary (stimulating, rejuvenating). Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Conclusion